Formula 1

Caterham Drivers in Positive Mood After Practice in Italy

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Both Heikki Kovalainen and Vitaly Petrov left the track at Monza in a positive mood today, saying that they were happy with balance of their cars.

Kovalainen was eighteenth fastest at the end of the day, not only ahead of the usual five backmarkers, but also faster than Jean-Eric Vergne in the Toro Rosso.

“A much better Friday than we’ve had for a while,” was the verdict of the Finn. “Right from the installation lap the car balance felt better and we’re clearly more competitive here than we have been anywhere since Valencia.

“It’s difficult to understand where the improvement has come from – the cars are in a very different configuration than Spa, Hungary, Hockenheim or Silverstone but that doesn’t explain the difference in the feeling and the performance. We need to get a better understanding of why we’re better here and then make sure we can translate that into being more competitive at every type of track.

“It’s a positive feeling for everybody. Spa was not acceptable, that’s clear, and when we don’t really understand why we weren’t competitive it’s more difficult to sort out, but coming here we’re back to the base level of performance we should have and now we need to build on that.”

Petrov also saw the improvements that Kobalainen talked about. “I think we are moving in the right direction and it’s been a much better day for us than we had last week, or for a few races now,” said the Russian.

“We ran both cars in different aero configurations so we could generate as much data as possible and the laptimes look pretty good. That gives us a lot to work on tonight, to prepare for quali and the race and it’s good to see us getting back to where we want to be.

“After the ups and downs we’ve seen so far this year I don’t want to make any predictions about where we’ll end up on Sunday, or in Singapore or any of the races to come, but I think that if we carry on like we have today we’ll be looking much better. That’s a good feeling, for me and the team, and hopefully the similar weather conditions we’ll have on track tomorrow will suit us so we can have another positive day.”

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David is an occasional contributer to the site on matters related to Formula 1. You can follow him on twitter at @Dr_Bean.
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